In the words of Henry James:
“Summer afternoon, summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”
This time last year, all the talk was about who would win the Ashes (we did); last month the focus was on the World Cup (Spain won); and now it seems that attention has (finally) turned to the London 2012 Olympic Games, which start in just two years time. So far, it is a good news story, with the ODA’s latest report indicating that construction remains ahead of schedule.
That said, finance remains an issue, and no-one is certain where the next round of government cuts will fall. We may have to wait until autumn for the outcome of the spending review, but the cancellation of the Building Schools for the Future programme (and over 700 school projects) certainly sent tremors through the construction industry. Concerns have also been expressed over Crossrail, and government plans to renegotiate its contracts with major suppliers. Other things under review include CABE and the Building Regulations 2000.
The end of July not only brings the start of the school holidays, but also the start of the summer court recess. It may have seemed a little quieter in the courts recently, but issues such as reasonable but commercially prudent endeavours and entire agreement clauses have been under review. It has also been announced that there will be a new e-disclosure questionnaire from October.
The Scottish courts have been considering the meaning of “balancing accounts“, the rules of natural justice and the appeal in City Inn v Shepherd. In adjudication enforcement, the TCC has been reviewing issues such as adjudicator bias and delivering a decision in time. Meanwhile, the competition appeals tribunal is continuing to hear the construction bid-rigging appeals.
We have also been busy publishing new materials; for example, we have new notes on health and safety prosecutions, termination under FIDIC contracts and a new schedule of third party rights. Our contributors have also reviewed some of their maintained content; for example, letters of intent, loss and expense and party walls.